Charles J. Colgan
|Charles J. Colgan|
|President pro tempore
of the Senate of Virginia
January 28, 2014 – June 12, 2014
|Preceded by||Walter Stosch|
|Succeeded by||Walter Stosch|
January 9, 2008 – January 11, 2012
|Preceded by||John Chichester|
|Succeeded by||Walter Stosch|
|Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 29th district
January 14, 1976 – January 13, 2016
|Preceded by||H. Selwyn Smith|
|Succeeded by||Jeremy McPike|
|Born||Charles Joseph Colgan
September 25, 1926
Frostburg, Maryland, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Agnes Loretto Footen
(m. 1948; died 2001)
Carmen Alicia Bernal
|Service/branch||United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
|Years of service||1945–1950|
Orphaned at the age of 5, Colgan was raised by his grandparents on a farm in Garrett County, Maryland.
Upon his graduation from high school Colgan enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was called to active duty in February 1945. After graduation from basic training Colgan was stationed in Italy as part of a maintenance flight crew on a C-47.
After completing his military service Colgan returned to Maryland where he met and married his wife Agnes. In 1948, Colgan and his wife moved to Washington, D.C. He trained as an airplane mechanic working for Capital Airlines and then obtained his commercial pilots license.
After flying as a corporate pilot, Colgan moved to Manassas, Virginia in 1964 and formed Colgan Airways operating as a flight school and fixed base operation. In 1968, Colgan expanded his business to include a regional airline which he sold to Presidential Airways in 1986. After the bankruptcy of Presidential, around 1991, Senator Colgan and his son Mike restarted air service under the new name Colgan Air with one aircraft. Colgan and his family sold the airline in 2007 to Pinnacle Airlines. At the time of the sale, Colgan Air had grown from a few employees and one aircraft to 1,100 employees, 50 aircraft, and 350 flights daily to 53 cities in the North East and Texas.
Charles and his wife Agnes (deceased 2001) have eight children, twenty-four grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and counting. Colgan's descendants are well known throughout the community and operate several small businesses.
- 1980, Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.
- 2003, Turboprop Airline Executive of the Year Award for his accomplishments in the airline industry.
- 2005, Virginia Senator of the Year by the Virginia Transit Association.
- 2011, George Mason University (GMU) honored Colgan for his work on the development of the GMU Prince William Campus.
- Northern Virginia Community College Medallion Award for his work in building and developing the college system.
- Melvin Jones Award (the highest award for community service) from the Park West Lions Club.
- The Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus has a building named in honor of Senator Colgan for his work on improving higher education, Colgan Hall.
Colgan’s public service began in 1972 when he was elected to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, where he served as Chairman for one year. In 1975, Colgan was elected to the Virginia State Senate with 61% of the vote, representing Prince William County, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.
Colgan is the only Senator from Prince William County to ever serve as the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. As a result of his senority, from 2005 to 2011 Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park have received more transportation funds than any other jurisdiction in the commonwealth.
As a moderate Democrat, Colgan is well known for working on both sides of the aisle. His bipartisan leadership is well known and respected throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia; one of his greatest friends was the late Harry J. Parrish, a Republican Delegate from Manassas.
On January 11, 2012, after being sworn in for the 10th consecutive term of the Virginia State Senate, Senator Colgan became the longest serving Senator in Virginia State History. He was also the last remaining World War II Veteran to serve in the chamber.
In June 2014, Senator Colgan announced that he would retire rather than seek re-election. Senator Colgan left office at the age of 89. He was succeeded by Jeremy McPike.
- Rt. 234 bypass, bypassing the city of Manassas and extending to the town Dumfries.
- Widening Interstate 66 to four lanes from Manassas to Gainesville.
- Gainesville interchange Rt.29/I-66 (in progress), $435 million plus and the largest project currently underway by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
- Widening Interstate 95 to four lanes.
- Additional Rail Cars for VRE.
- In 2011 during statewide cuts, Colgan prevented cuts to K-12 education spending by $730 million.
- Several buildings on Manassas and Woodbridge NVCC campuses.
- Worked to Establish the George Mason Prince William Campus.
- Hylton Center for Performing Arts at GMU Prince William Campus.
- Passed legislation to create the GMU/NIH Research Facility at George Mason University.
- Introduced legislation that provided a free college education to children and spouses of police officers, firefighters and members of the National Guard who are killed in the line of duty.
- Worked to allow local governments to exempt disabled veterans from having to pay property taxes.
- Charles Colgan - Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus
- Colgan Air Sold to Memphis-Based Carrier
- "SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 496". Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Sen. Charles J. Colgan | Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society
- Potomac News May 29, 2003
-  Archived January 30, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived April 25, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Candidate Data for 1975RVASS29
- Rein, Lisa (2 April 2006). "Hundreds Mourn Parrish, Dean of N.Va. Politics". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- Charles J. Colgan, Sr., Currently Elected Senate Of Virginia 29th District, Virginia
- Topic Galleries - dailypress.com